BAWBEE (of very doubtful origin, the most plausible conjecture being that the word is a corruption from the name of the mint master Sillebawby, by whom they were first issued, c. 1541), the Scottish name for a halfpenny or other small coin, and hence used of money generally. A writer in 1573, quoted in Tytler's History of Scotland, speaks of "a coin called a bawbee,. .. which is in value English one penny and a quarter." The word was sometimes written "babie," and has therefore been identified merely with a "baby coin," but this etymology is less probable.
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